There’s a line by poet Kahlil Gibran (On Houses,1923) , that goes “ Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral”. The first time I read this quote it hit a chord with me, and I hastily scribbled it down in one of my songbooks. I’ve always lived life impulsively – from buying my first house sight unseen off the internet, to the thrill of travelling solo in non-English speaking countries, to quitting a well paid job to start my own company mid pandemic. Smart. However, the alure of comfort is a saucy force that takes time and will power to break.
How does this all relate to wine?
The single most limiting and downright negative influence on your lifelong wine journey is comfort. Being a creature of habit. Taking the safe route. Being basic.
How many times have you heard a customer say “I only drink Shiraz”, “Young wines suck”, or worse “I only drink Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand”. This type of mindset leaves a drinker feeling assured when they purchase their next bottle it will be in their comfort zone, easily as good as their last uninspiring experience. Safe.
As one of this century’s great thinkers, Robin Sharma, said “All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and so gorgeous at the end”.
The easiest, most elevating decision you can make in your wine life is to replace absolute words like ‘only’ with open language like ‘prefer’.
Here’s some examples I fixed for you:
“I only drink Shiraz”
only drink Shiraz prefer full bodied reds wines with dark fruit characters. Shiraz is great, recently I’m digging Malbec from Argentina and Durif from California” – Level Up, 100 Points.
“I only drink Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand”
only used to drink Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, then I discovered all aromatic wines are the bomb. Greco from Campania, Melon de Bourgogne from the Loire, and Verdejo from Spain are my current favorites” – High five, pat on the back.
Next time you’re shopping why not trust your retailer (assuming you shop at a good winestore) and ask them to flip the script and recommend something ‘same same but different’ to your usual imbibe.